Hotel Housekeepers Share the Worst Things You Can Do When Staying in a Hotel

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The service industry as a whole is a tough and sometimes thankless field. Hotel employees, in particular, have seen all sorts of wild things. Those employees responsible for cleaning and clearing out your room, get an often unwanted glimpse into the most intimate aspects of a guest's life: where they sleep and how they act when no one else is looking.

Not only do travelers want to stay in the best of hotels, but hotels ideally would like to have the best of guests. Of course, all types of people end up checking in to eat, sleep, and otherwise live their lives for anywhere from a day to a few months in a hotel. As a result, with the good come the bad. Housekeepers - those most brave of hotel staff who end up responsible for cleaning up after guests - often end up seeing the worst side of the people who come to stay there. You'd be amazed at just how awful some guests can act or behave, and we found some amazing stories after reading through sites like Reddit and Thrillist. Straight from the mouths of hotel housekeepers themselves, here are some of the worst things a hotel guest can do.

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Accusing Staff of Stealing

The vast majority of housekeepers are honest people just trying to do their jobs. It is unkind, therefore, to jump to conclusions when you're unable to find one of your belongings in your room. "I'm not saying that no hotel housekeepers have ever stolen," said Thrillist writer Vivian Kane. "But by and large, we know there's a huge amount of unspoken trust you have to have to let us into your room, and we're not abusing it." If you think something may have been stolen or misplaced, contact your front desk and ask them for help without accusing anyone outright.

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Doing Your 'Business' Anywhere but the Toilet

As one Reddit user put it, "Please place all fecal matter in the toilet provided." Violations of this rule are apparently far more common than they should be, and that's part of the reason why some parts of the bathroom are more germy than you'd realize.

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Forgetting to Tip or Say Thank You

Tipping is always appreciated, especially in jobs where workers don't make very much. Unfortunately, many people don't realize that housekeepers absolutely do accept tips. Leave a small amount every day, as housekeepers may change from day to day, and leave a bigger one if you ever leave behind an unavoidable mess. It's also always nice to show thanks. "Usually, guests will tell reception that they enjoyed their stay, not the housekeepers," shared a former housekeeper. "It's a hard job, and a thank you can go a long way."

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Hitting on Staff

Unfortunately, this is far too common in the service industry. Harassment is never OK, and come-ons are not appreciated. It is the hotel staff's job to be nice to you, so don't take it in any other way, and don't be creepy.

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Leaving a Mess Because You Can

One former motel maid shared that their biggest pet peeve was when guests left a mess because they could. "Cleaning/clearing rooms is stressful, because cleaning personnel have a lot of rooms to go through before the guests get back after a day out," they shared. "Don't leave trash all over the place because it's a job to pick it up."

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Leaving Blood Anywhere

For some reason, it's quite common for housekeepers to find blood in rooms and bathrooms. "Please leave all blood INSIDE the body," one Reddit user requested.

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Leaving Needles Behind

Even if you throw them in the trash, it's not OK to leave behind needles or syringes in your hotel room. Unknown needles are a hazard, so this not only puts housekeepers in dangers but it causes them undue stress. One told Thrillist about how their hand once got stabbed with a needle when changing a garbage bag. "I had to get various painful tests and vaccinations for weeks after," they said.

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Leaving Trash Under the Bed

One Redditor who used to work as a housekeeper shared that they have found pizza boxes under beds on more than one occasion. "If you order food, clean after yourself," they said. "Don't hide your mess."

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Leaving Waste in the Fridge

This seems to be more common than it should be. One Reddit user who worked at a hotel front desk recounted their housekeeping coworkers finding excrement in one room's fridge, and yet another user shared a story in which housekeeping staff found ice cube trays filled with it in the minibar.

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Leaving Wet Sheets on the Bed

Accidents happen. If you spill something on the bed or your child has an accident or something, take the sheets off and maybe ask for a replacement. Definitely don't cover it up with the blankets. "It's a bad surprise to feel a wet patch when you're making the bed," one Redditor shared.

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Not Flushing the Toilet

Almost every discussion about housekeeping horrors includes many, many unflushed toilets. Not only is it smelly and unsightly, but it's quite unsanitary for you to force others to deal with your waste. Just a simple flush can make the housekeepers' job easier.

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Not Rinsing the Bathtub or Sink

Probably even more common than unflushed sinks were dirty bathtubs and sinks. If you've left hair behind after showering, shaving or otherwise getting ready, make sure you remove it and throw it out, as it can be quite gross and difficult to clean. If you leave behind any dirt or residue, it's always courteous to give the bathtub or sink a quick rinse as well.

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Passing Away

Whether or not it's on purpose, one of the worst things you can do while staying in a hotel is, well, die. Many current and former housekeepers and hotel employees shared stories of guests dying during their stay, even stating outright that it's more common than people realize. Not only is this horrible for the guest, but it can be frightful and even traumatizing for the housekeepers or employees who discover the body, especially if the death was particularly gruesome.

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Putting Your Garbage in the Hallway

One housekeeper told Thrillist that their biggest pet peeve is when guests leave loads of trash outside of their door. It's OK to put your room service tray out there, but anything else should be thrown out in your room's trash can or otherwise disposed of.

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Sleeping With Makeup On

Take your makeup off before going to bed, or else you're likely to get it all over the sheets and pillowcases. One Reddit user shared this was the most annoying thing for them when housekeeping. "I would have to spend extra time in the laundry room trying to get the stain out and I would usually end up leaving late because of it," they shared. Make sure you also don't use the handtowels to take your makeup off, or you'll stain those too and possibly get charged, running up your hotel bill when you're trying to save.

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